The LET Access Series continues to provide greater playing opportunities for young female golfers with the news that it will offer a minimum of 12 tournaments in seven different nations in 2013.
The four new tournaments - Ocho Golf Ladies Open – Galicia, Sölvesborg Ladies Open, Ingarö Ladies Open hosted by Elin Emanuelsson and Norrporten Ladies Open - provide a boost to the calendar while further destinations will be announced in the near future.
The tour is delighted to be able to offer membership of the Ladies European Tour to the top five players on the 2013 Ranking, while players in sixth to 20th positions will have the opportunity to progress to the final stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School for 2014.
LETAS launched in 2010 as the official feeder tour to the LET and has blossomed year on year, with an ever-increasing number of players competing.
Tour Director Di Barnard said: “The objective of LETAS is to provide greater playing opportunities for female professional golfers and we are very excited to be able to offer a strong 2013 programme. LETAS has already proved particularly useful for those who are looking to test their games at the elite level and there is also the chance for five players to gain a well-deserved pass to play on the Ladies European Tour next season. We would like to thank the many federations, event promoters and golf clubs whose support has helped to develop the tour and whose commitment means a great deal to the players.”
The success of the LET Access Series in developing talent over the last three years can be demonstrated by its players’ results and achievements. Notably, Pamela Pretswell of Scotland earned her full card for the 2013 LET season after winning a LETAS event in Sweden last year as an amateur and going on to win the Order of Merit and it will be interesting to watch the progress of this accomplished LET rookie.
Marion Ricordeau of France and Norwegian Cecilie Lundgreen also earned well-deserved playing rights on the Ladies European Tour for 2013, while Katy McNicoll, Julie Tvede, Antonella Cvitan, Anastasia Kostina, Tamara Johns, Pamela Feggans, Sofia Harkonen, Galina Rotmistrova, Ana Larraneta, Danielle McVeigh, Melanie Maetzler and Anna Rossi all earned an exemption from Pre-Qualifying and went straight to the Final Stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School thanks to their performances on the 2012 LET Access Series. Of those who advanced directly from the LET Access Series last year, Melanie Maetzler earned her full card, while Galina Rotmistrova and Danielle McVeigh were also successful finishing in the top 66 that earned a second category of membership in 2013.
Life on tour can be daunting for new professionals and the LET Access Series provides the starting steps for many players who then progress onto the main tour. LET professionals Carly Booth and Henni Zuel from the UK have both attributed their success on tour to their experience of playing on the LET Access Series. Booth earned her maiden victory as a professional at the 2012 Dinard Ladies Open before going on to claim two wins, at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, on the LET last year.
This year, the LETAS begins with the Terre Blanche Ladies Open at Golf de Terre Blanche, Domaine de Terre Blanche from March 21-23 and remains in France for the Dinard Ladies Open in early April. In May, we will see the Ocho Golf Ladies Open – Galicia played in Spain, as well as the Kristianstad Åhus Ladies Open and Sölvesborg Ladies Open in Sweden. June brings the Fourqueux Ladies Open in France, while a third tournament in Sweden – the Ingarö Ladies Open hosted by Elin Emanuelsson at Ingarö GC, Stockholm, will be played in July. The tour returns to Finland for the HLR Open in early August and the fourth tournament in Sweden will be the Norrporten Ladies Open at the end of August, followed by the Ladies Norwegian Challenge in Oslo. The Azores Ladies Open will be the penultimate tournament on the schedule played in September with the season climax taking place in October at the Crete Ladies Open in Greece.